“Running gave me a whole new life. I can’t even remember my past—it’s like it wasn’t me. I have a good life now, and it’s all because I run.” – Bill O’Shields
I might have overdone it with the pictures…but it was such a gorgeous week!
Monday – 2600 Meter Swim + Strength/Core/PT/Stretching
Besides feeling like a truck hit me from the weekend run and bike miles, it was pretty uneventful! Took me awhile to warm up in the pool and I felt weak when I was lifting. I stretched and foam rolled at home later that night.
Tuesday – Yoga + 10 General Aerobic Run
I felt pretty stiff when I hit my yoga mat, but put in a solid hour of yoga before work, including core work. It felt great to start the day with low impact activity. After work, it was 87 degrees and SUPER windy. It was such a pretty day, even though the weather was not ideal:
I was supposed to do 8 miles between 7:45-8 minute pace, but I ended up doing 10 at 7:58. Not as fast as I’d hoped – I wanted to be closer to that 7:45. Even though I couldn’t pick it up, my splits were very consistent and I didn’t feel like I was being tortured, so I added distance to compensate for the lack of speed. There was so much pollen in the air that my throat felt like I swallowed sand, and my whole body was coated in it by the time I finished. I started the run with form drills, did MYRTLs after, and spent time foam rolling and stretching while watching TV later that night.
Wednesday – Track Workout (3 x 3200 @ Goal Marathon Pace) + Yoga
No, I didn’t do hurdles 🙂 I would eat sh*t if I tried those. I did some core work in the morning and headed to the track at Parkland High School after work. I reeeaaaalllly dragged my feet in getting started. I don’t do 3200s that often (or ever, really), and I hadn’t done a single track workout since late December. It was right after Christmas, and right around the time my Achilles freaked out on me. I wasn’t trying to hit 5K pace and I know I’ve done some speed since then, but I was scared. I didn’t want to set myself back with my Achilles or feel like crap in general. My goal marathon pace is 7:00/mile. My workout was to warm up for a mile, do 3×2 miles at 7:00 pace with two minute jog recoveries, and cool down for a mile. Here’s how the workout really went:
- Warmup: 1 Mile @ 8:34 (Easy Means Easy!)
- 3200 #1: 6:54, 6:52
- Recovery: .32 miles @ 8:37
- 3200 #2: 6:48, 6:41
- Recovery: .31 miles @ 8:16
- 3200 #3: 6:54, 6:43
- Recovery: .38 miles @ 8:43
- Cooldown: 1 mile @ 9:09
- Overall Pace: 7:27
I. Was. STOKED. I had so many positives that came from this run, and only one negative. The positives: I negative split each 3200 (I was trying to). My first one was my slowest one, but usually my last one is my slowest one because I burn myself out by going too hard. It was my first track workout in forever and I felt like I nailed it. I felt good, and my legs felt fresh. My achilles didn’t ache during (a little after, but totally normal). My only negative was that I wanted my last repeat to be my fastest. I was pretty happy that my final mile was the second fastest of the entire workout, though.
I left and did a short yoga practice – about 40 minutes. Not the full hour I’d planned on, but I felt good after the track workout and I was glad to stretch it all out. I made sure to foam roll and ice my Achilles while watching TV later that night – being consistent seems to really be making a difference.
Thursday – 5 Mile Recovery Run + 25 Mile Ride
It was a true spring morning and I headed out with the intention of running four easy miles. I expected to feel terrible from the speed workout but my legs felt decent. I still kept the pace nice and easy, averaging 8:23 (right in my recovery zone) but I ended up running five miles. It was 42 degrees and the sun was coming up! After work, the weather was still pretty incredible so I headed out for a nice ride and found some great new roads while exploring:
I came home and did MYRTLs, core, stretched and foam rolled. It was a great day!
Friday– 2700 meter Swim + Strength/Core/PT/Stretching
I had zero desire to swim when I woke up and almost skipped it. But I told myself if I went and started and still felt badly after the first set, I’d listen to my body and hit the hot tub or the sauna. I made it through the warm-up and the first set, so I kept going and felt better than I thought. After work, the last thing I wanted to do was go back to the gym, but I went and busted out my strength/core/PT in record time. I just really wasn’t feeling it on Friday.
Saturday – 18 mile Run + 18 Mile Ride + Stretching/Core
I got up early, ate my bagel and almond butter, packed my gear and headed out. My plan was to run a loop near the trail that I often run on, but to stick mainly to roads to get a good dose of hills. I’d planned to run parts of the trail to switch up the surface and give my Achilles a rest. My route ended up being absolutely perfect. It was overcast, humid, and drizzled every so often (which felt great). I started easy- actually, I was running easy for the first eight miles, averaging 7:45-8s (but closer to the 8 minute range for most). Once I hit the trail for a stretch around mile nine, I decided to get my sh*t together and pick up the pace. I used a strategy that comes from my girl Ashley over at PrettyPinkLaces (check her out – badass Ironman/triathlete/runner!): at the beginning of a mile, she picks up the pace for one minute. I like this strategy because when you relax and kick back, you have higher turnover from your pickup and hold a stronger pace. It’s like a glorified fartlek. I decided I’d try it for the middle portion of my run and see how it went. Well, I averaged well under 7:30 for the remainder of my run, with the exception of one or two miles in there where I hit some pretty nasty hills! Overall pace, 7:39. Success!
I met up with my buddy/neighbor, the one and only Bart Yasso and Bill (keep reading for more about him) for coffee at Starbucks. I spent time chatting and recovering before I hopped on my bike and did a nice recovery ride. It was just over an hour and I covered 18.39 miles. Since I didn’t have to start from my house, I didn’t have to climb the HUGE mountain that I live on the other side of to get to the area where I enjoy riding. By this point, the sun was shining and it was absolutely perfect out:
I waited until after my run to do form drills, but I still did them. I wanted to save energy but I didn’t want to skip them. I did the drills, MYRTLs, core, stretching and foam rolling once I finally got home.
Sunday – 8 Mile Recovery Run + 51 Mile Ride + Stretching/Core
I felt surprisingly good when I woke up on Sunday and got the bright idea to head to Trexler Game Preserve to run the Border Trail as my recovery run. I was inspired by Jen Chooses Joy, who has been KILLING it on the trails lately! The elevation kind of makes the word “recovery” obsolete:
However, the pace was sloooowwwww because much to my surprise, my husband decided to join me! Here we are at the creek crossing – you have to go through the water to stay on the trail:
I don’t know the trail at the game preserve well but I want to start going there more often. It’s got some sick climbs and uneven terrain so when he got wind of where I was going, I think he offered to come out of concern. But I didn’t care. However, dude hasn’t run since ummmm…2009? And he goes and busts out 8.5 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation gain? Way to just jump back into it. He doesn’t work out – he has an extremely physical job, but he doesn’t have any sort of regular exercise regimen. Not one crunch, push up, etc. I wish I could say I hate him…but he’s pretty great 🙂 I’m pretty sure it took me almost an hour longer with him tagging along, but I didn’t care. He can come every week if he wants to. Here are some more shots from the creek:
And from the mild sections of the trail:
After our run, I would have been good with calling it a day but I had planned a long ride for the afternoon. My coach didn’t give me bike rides for the weekend but I truly enjoy being outside so I add them in. Plus, I’ve been feeling REALLY strong after a few weeks of ramping up my bike miles. Emily and I hit the road with a route in mind but I was considering cutting it short if my legs felt fatigued. Once we got moving, I felt great. I’d come up with a fun new route that had a whole bunch of new roads to explore. We did about another 3,000 feet of climbing. The loop we did looks pretty cool on a map:
Since the morning run took longer than expected and I hung around with Emily for a bit after the ride, I bailed on everything else: my form drills, MYRTLs, core, etc. I did foam roll and ice my Achilles, though. I don’t feel bad about it – it was one missed day of those, and I’ve been diligent for the past three weeks.
Swim: 5300 meters ♥ Bike: 89 miles ♥ Run: 50 miles
Other fun events from the week…on Friday night, my friend Bill was in town. He’s actually a friend of Bart Yasso’s that I met when we all traveled to a the Marshall Marathon together. He was featured in the November 2011 issue of Runner’s World. They did a story about how running changed his life. He was incarcerated for 14 years and began running at 36 years old, and it saved his life. He went from being a several pack per day smoker to running 70 miles per week on a half mile “track” in prison. He’s truly an amazing person with an incredible story. He reached out to Bart when he was in prison to tell him his story, and they’ve been friends ever since. In the fall, he qualified for Boston at a race down south – ran something like a 3:11! When I ran a marathon in Columbia, SC last year, he met up with us and ran it:
He’s from South Carolina, and he came up this weekend and stayed with Bart to run the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon on Sunday. To get him all carbed up and ready for the race, Bart had a little pizza party for him with few of us that know Bill. Bart lives five minutes from my house. It was such a fun night! Bart is pretty into biking these days and was showing us his amazing bike collection…and his dusty Zipp wheels:
Oh yeah – the weather was hot,humid, and extremely sunny on Sunday. Our buddy Bill pulled a 3:17 in the marathon! I heard there were a TON of DNFs at the race due to conditions, and he goes and kills it anyway. Incredible!
Have you ever gone trail running? Anyone else feel like becoming a runner has changed your life and had a positive impact?